Political pressure hinders accountability: Pak PWD

MPs to submit complaints regarding corruption in development projects

Qamar Zaman January 27, 2015
MPs to submit complaints regarding corruption in development projects. STOCK IMAGE

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel has invited all lawmakers to come up with their complaints regarding corruption or embezzlement in development works in their constituencies. The initiative was taken on the claim of Pakistan Public Works Department (Pak PWD) that it could not take action due to political pressure.

“There is a political pressure and threats which I can share with the minister in private,” Director General Pak PWD Attaul Haq Akhtar told the committee on Monday when asked about the action taken by his department against corruption and embezzlement of funds.

“If you are afraid of threats, you should not be in this job,” insisted Minister for Housing and Works Akram Khan Durrani.

“We have submitted reports about 300 development projects and did our job. But I can tell in private why action has not been taken on our findings,” Attaul Haq insisted while briefing the committee about action taken by the Pak PWD.

“We have recovered Rs442 million,” adding that “90% cases against the Pak PWD officials are of corruption.”

The scenario prompted Chairman of National Assembly Standing Committee on Housing and Works Haji Muhammad Akram Ansari to ask all MNAs to submit their complaints, if they have any, regarding Pak PWD to the committee.

The issue came under discussion when Rajab Ali Baloch of PML-N from NA-78 Faisalabad said that “you can recover more than Rs400 million”, as majority of schemes and development projects are just on paper.

Secretary Housing and Works Shahrukh Abbas informed the committee that the ministry has submitted a summary regarding Peoples Work Programme II, adding that a committee is being constituted which would visit every single constituency and compile a report about development projects.

“We would compile a comprehensive report about development projects from 2008 till date whereas a team headed by a grade-20 officer would monitor the ongoing projects,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2015.


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